Respect, protect and enjoy our coastline

Last week’s heatwave has meant we’ve seen another surge in the number of people heading to the beach – with problems of overcrowding, littering and parking. We want people to visit our beautiful coastline, but also to be considerate of public health guidance as the pandemic continues. We’re asking visitors to avoid places where they cannot safely socially distance and, if they do visit a beauty spot, to take their rubbish home or use a litter bin.

We have been speaking to numerous national media outlets over the past week – highlighting the issues we face and how we want people to respect and protect the area, so we can all enjoy it. Some of the scenes have been frustrating, but our powers of enforcement are limited so we are doing everything we can alongside our partners to keep people safe and protect Dorset.

Prime Minister announces easing of lockdown restictions

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has set out further changes to lockdown measures in England to enable people to see more of their friends and family, help businesses get back on their feet and get people back in their jobs. From Saturday 4 July, the Prime Minister has announced that pubs, restaurants and hairdressers will be able to reopen, providing they adhere to COVID-19 secure guidelines.

Two metre social distancing banners will remain in place

Following the recent review, the Prime Minister has set out that where it is not possible to stay two metres apart, guidance will allow people to keep a social distance of ‘one metre plus’. This means staying one metre apart, plus mitigations which reduce the risk of transmission (e.g. wearing a face covering).

Because of this, our current two metre social distancing banners will remain in place to encourage people to observe a two metre distance when possible.

Help spread COVID-19 messages in your area

We have collated several posters and social media posts that can be used by town and parish councils to help spread Coronavirus messages. There is a variety, so hopefully there will be some that are relevant to your situation. The assets can be found at the links below and will continue to be added to.

We ask you not to modify them unless you have agreement from the communications team.

Dorset Council can also provide street dressing assets (floor vinyls, posters, signage etc.) to help with social distancing in public places. If you’re interested, please contact our Marketing team to discuss unit prices, potential quantities and delivery times. Please note that, unless we have already been in touch regarding these assets, they will need to be paid for directly by town and parish councils.

Face coverings – when should you wear one?

Wearing a face covering is now compulsory on public transport and in hospitals. If you can, you should also wear a face covering in other enclosed public spaces where social distancing isn’t possible.

Face coverings don’t replace social distancing, so remember to keep your distance from others. If you have symptoms of COVID-19 you and your household must isolate at home: wearing a face covering does not change this. You should also arrange to have a test to see if you have COVID-19.

Face coverings should not be used by children under the age of 3 or those who may find it difficult to manage them correctly. It is important to use face coverings properly and wash your hands before putting them on and taking them off. Find out more…

Update for people who are shielding

We know that many residents have been shielding throughout the pandemic and the government has announced plans to relax advice to those people. We know this may cause some anxiety and we want to reassure you that it’s still your choice whether to go out or not. We’ll be issuing more guidance as soon as it comes through, but in the meantime, if you still need help and support to get food, medicines or even access to befriending services, you can call our community response helpline on 01305 221000.

From Wednesday 1 July, the operating hours will be 9am to 6pm, Monday to Saturday, in line with the government helpline opening hours.

Agreement sought to look at ways to prohibit disposable barbecues

We are looking at measures to prohibit or control the use of disposable barbecues and other fire-related activities in the Dorset Council area. In recent years, there have been a number of incidents of fire damage across Dorset as a result of disposable barbecues, bonfires close to heathland and dry wooded areas, the release of sky lanterns and other social activities.

The most serious of these incidents was the recent fire at Wareham Forest which affected 180 hectares of heathland and was declared a major incident by the Fire and Rescue Service. Remember, if you see a fire in the countryside report it immediately by calling 999. Find out more…

Calling children and young people – tell us what you think!

What would make Dorset the best place in the world to grow up? We want to hear from children and young people across the county. Their ideas will help shape the new Children, Young People and Families Plan, which aims to make Dorset the best place to be a child.

Anyone aged up to 18 can share their ideas by entering the ‘I Live in Dorset’ art competition. Children and young people will be asked to enter artwork that explores what would make Dorset the best place to grow up. Find out more…

Influx of flies

Our Environmental Protection Team have received a high number of complaints about flies over the last few weeks. Many people are experiencing lots of flies within their homes. To reduce the numbers, it is important to follow good hygiene practices and take extra precautions to ensure that food is not freely available to them. Find out more…

A new home for Dorset children

Plans are being drawn up to build a new home for Dorset children. The new home in Weymouth will give up to five Dorset children a better and more secure start in life. The new building on Dorchester Road will be designed to complement the area’s existing Edwardian architecture. Professionally designed landscaping and planting will also improve the area.

A planning application will be submitted shortly. If the proposals go ahead the project could be completed in the winter of 2021. Find out more…

Team work in east Dorset

Seven organisations have been brought together by Dorset Highways to ensure a thorough inspection of the A338 Bournemouth Spur Road, from Ashley Heath to the Blackwater junction.

During the last week of May, the northern section of the A338 was closed overnight so that numerous specialist contractors could occupy the road and ensure its upkeep. Over ten-and-a-half miles of dual carriageway was inspected for defects, had its central reservation cleared and gullies emptied. Verges were cut, barrier damage was repaired and otter holes were unblocked. Find out more…

Community a step closer to agreeing neighbourhood plan

A local community has taken a significant step closer to having greater influence over planning decisions in their area. A final version of the Puddletown Neighbourhood Plan has been submitted for examination. The plan has been drawn up by local people, and agreed by the parish council, who feel confident that the plan reflects the hopes and views of the local community. Find out more…

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